How to Edit Photos on Mac

If you want to edit your images in the Photos app on Mac, here’s how to do it.

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 was released just recently, and with it came an all-new Photos app that replaces iPhoto and Aperture on Mac. It’s a simpler photo management tool, but it comes with a handful of features. It isn’t just an updated version of iPhoto either. Instead, it’s a whole new app with a plethora of new features, including the ability to access your iCloud Photo Library, which means that when you take a photo on your iPhone or iPad, that photo will automatically be viewable on your Mac through the Photos app, thanks to iCloud.


Perhaps one of the coolest features is that edits made to a photo on your iPhone or iPad in the Photos app can be automatically synced to all devices instantly, and the process can be done the other way around as well.

The design of Photos on Mac looks nearly identical to how it looks on iOS 8, with a few obvious design differences since it’s on a Mac rather than your iPhone or iPad. In the app, you can do things like sort your photos and videos and even only view special files like panoramics, burst shots, slow motion, and timelapse video, separating all other photos and videos.



However, after you have imported all of your pictures into Photos app, you may find that there are pictures that you want to edit a bit. Luckily, this is really easy to do.


How to Edit Photos

The Photos app on your Mac provides some very basic editing tools for pictures. You can do things like crop, rotate, add filters, retouch, remove red-eye, and auto-enhance photos. Anything more and you’ll have to get something a bit more advanced, like Photoshop or even Pixelmator.

To get started editing a photo, simply double-click on a photo and click Edit in the upper-right corner of the window. Alternatively, you can select a photo and then hit Enter on the keyboard to bring up the editing tools, or select a photo and go up to the menu bar and select Image > Show Edit Tools.


From there, the editing window will open and you can begin to edit your photo. Here are some of the basic edits that you can do to your photos.


  • Enhance: This will automatically enhance your photo with one click, such as adjusting brightness, contrast, exposure, etc.
  • Rotate: Selecting this will allow you to rotate your photo. Simply just click in one of the corners of the photo and drag to rotate in either direction.
  • Crop: Need to make your subject in a photo a bit tighter? Select this and click-and-drag to make the photos smaller and crop out unwanted objects in the frame.
  • Filters: Just like on Instagram, this will allow you to apply a number of cool effects to your photos.


  • Adjust: This allows you to adjust the brightness of the photo, as well as the saturation if you want to make it black and white.
  • Retouch: Something in the photo that needs to be removed? This tool lets you select that area and it will magically be retouched.
  • Red-eye: If you have a photo of a group of people and some have red-eye, you can use this tool to click on the affected area to banish that nasty red-eye once and for all.

Once you’re done editing your photo, simply click Done in the upper-right corner of the window to save the changes and go back to your photos library.